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Xbox Backward Compatibility Explained: How will it work on next-gen consoles?

Ever since the reveal of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, Microsoft has constantly stressed the massive role backward compatibility will play in the philosophy of its upcoming console ecosystem. 

It wants to create a landscape where players never have to leave anything behind, and that includes their entire digital library, saves, achievements and friends they’ve made along the way. Upon logging into Xbox Live on your next-gen console, it will be like you never even left, making it easy to jump into existing games without much trouble at all. 

So, the importance of Xbox backward compatibility shouldn’t be understated, as it will continue to evolve and be a major element of many platforms in the coming years. Knowing this, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the feature including all the latest news, games and how exactly it will work on next generation consoles. 

Related: Best Xbox Series X Games 

Xbox Backwards Compat

Xbox Backwards Compatibility – How will it work on the Xbox Series X and S?

Microsoft recently published a new blog post on Xbox Wire which detailed how backward compatibility will work on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, including exactly what improvements we can expect to our existing library of games. 

It turns out that the enhancements will be rather substantial, especially if studios put in the extra effort to make their titles both look and run better than ever. Even without this extra push, the hardware does more than enough to natively bolster existing games, with Final Fantasy 15 now running at a locked 60 frames per second with vastly improved loading times. To be blunt, such changes can be downright transformative.

We’ve compiled some of the defining features of next-gen backwards compatibility alongside a video from Microsoft showcasing major performance improvements in Fallout 4, which has its framerate doubled on both of the new consoles. Here’s some of the key features: 

  • Automatic HDR implementation for titles that did not previously support it 
  • Games will run natively on the hardware, resulting in naturally increased performance and resolution 
  • Improved loading times across the board thanks to increased hardware specs and SSD installation, although enhancements will still be present on a standard HDD. 
  • Select titles will receive bespoke performance bonuses, with Fallout 4 being one of the first major examples. 

Xbox backward compatibility list – What games are supported?

A

  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • ACE COMBAT™ 6: Fires of Liberation™
  • Age of Booty
  • Alan Wake
  • Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
  • Alice: Madness Returns
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Aliens vs Predator
  • Altered Beast
  • Anomaly Warzone Earth
  • Aqua
  • ARKANOID Live!
  • Army of Two
  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  • Assassin’s Creed® IV
  • Assassin’s Creed® Liberation HD
  • Assassin’s Creed® Rogue
  • Assault Heroes 2
  • Asteroids & Deluxe
  • Astropop
  • Axel & Pixel

B

  • Babel Rising
  • Band of Bugs
  • Banjo Kazooie
  • Banjo Kazooie: N n B
  • Banjo Tooie
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Battlefield 1943™
  • Battlefield 3™
  • Battlefield Bad Co.
  • Battlefield: Bad Co. 2
  • Battlestations Pacific
  • Battlestations: Midway
  • BAYONETTA
  • Beat’n Groovy
  • Bejeweled 2
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Bellator: MMA Onslaught
  • Beyond Good & Evil HD
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
  • Bioshock
  • Bioshock 2
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • BLACK™
  • Blazing Angels
  • Blinx: The Time Sweeper
  • Blood Knights
  • Blood of the Werewolf
  • Bloodforge
  • BloodRayne: Betrayal
  • Blue Dragon
  • Bomberman Battlefest
  • Boom Boom Rocket
  • Borderlands
  • Borderlands 2
  • Bound by Flame
  • Braid
  • Brain Challenge™
  • Brave: The Video Game
  • Brütal Legend
  • Bully: Scholarship Ed
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Burnout Revenge

C

  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
  • Cabela’s Alaskan Adventures
  • Cabela’s Survival: SoK
  • Call of Duty® 2
  • Call of Duty® 3
  • Call of Duty® 4: Modern Warfare®
  • Call of Duty®: Black Ops
  • Call of Duty®: Black Ops II
  • Call of Duty®: Ghosts
  • Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 2
  • Call of Duty®: World at War
  • Call of Juarez 2
  • Call Of Juarez : The Cartel
  • Call of Juarez® Gunslinger
  • CAPCOM ARCADE CABINET
  • Carcassonne
  • Cars 2: The Video Game
  • Cars: Mater-National
  • Castle Crashers
  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • Castlestorm
  • Castlevania LoS
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
  • Castlevania: LoS – Mirror of Fate HD
  • Castlevania: LoS 2
  • Castlevania: SOTN
  • Catherine
  • Centipede & Millipede
  • Child of Eden
  • Civilization Revolution
  • Civilization Revolution
  • COD: Advanced Warfare
  • Comic Jumper
  • Comix Zone
  • Commaders: Attack
  • Command and Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath
  • Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
  • Command and Conquer Red Alert 3
  • Command and Conquer Red Alert 3: Commander’s Challenge
  • Condemned
  • Conker: Live & Reloaded
  • Contra
  • Costume Quest 2
  • Counter-Strike: GO
  • Crackdown
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Crimson Skies®: High Road to Revenge™
  • Crysis
  • Crysis 2
  • Crysis 3
  • CRYSTAL DEFENDERS™
  • Crystal Quest

D

  • D&D: Chronicles of Mystara
  • Dante’s Inferno™
  • Dark Souls
  • Dark Void
  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders II
  • DAYTONA USA
  • de Blob 2
  • Dead Rising 2: Case West
  • Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
  • Dead Space™
  • Dead Space™ 2
  • Dead Space™ 3
  • Dead Space™ Ignition
  • Deadfall Adventures
  • Deadliest Warrior
  • Deadliest Warrior: Legends
  • Deadly Premonition
  • Deathspank T.O.V.
  • Defense Grid
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION
  • DIG DUG
  • DiRT 3
  • DiRT Showdown
  • Discs of Tron
  • Disney Bolt
  • Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
  • Divinity II – DKS
  • Domino Master
  • Doom
  • DOOM 3 BFG Edition
  • Doom II
  • Doritos Crash Course
  • Double Dragon Neon
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Dragon Age™ 2
  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Driver San Francisco
  • Duck Tales: Remastered
  • Duke Nukem Forever
  • Duke Nukem Manhattan Project
  • Dungeon Siege III

E

  • E4
  • Earth Defense Force 2017
  • Earth Defense Force 2025
  • Earth Defense Force: IA
  • Earthworm Jim HD
  • Eat Lead
  • Encleverment Experiment
  • Escape Dead Island

F

  • F1™ 2014
  • Fable Anniversary
  • Fable Heroes
  • Fable II
  • Fable III
  • Fable Trilogy
  • Fable® II Pub Games
  • Faery: Legends of Avalon
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Far Cry 2
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 3® Blood Dragon
  • Feeding Frenzy
  • Feeding Frenzy 2
  • FIGHT NIGHT CHAMPION
  • Fighting Vipers
  • FINAL FANTASY XIII
  • FINAL FANTASY XIII-2
  • Final Fight: Double Impact
  • Flashback
  • FLOCK!
  • Forza Horizon
  • Foul Play
  • Fret Nice
  • Frogger
  • Frogger 2
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War
  • FUEL™
  • Full Spectrum Warrior
  • FunTown Mahjong
  • Fuzion Frenzy®

G

  • Galaga
  • Galaga Legions
  • Galaga Legions DX
  • GAROU -MARK OF THE WOLV
  • Gatling Gears
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Gears of War 3
  • Gears of War: Judgment
  • Geometry Wars Evolved
  • Geometry Wars Evolved²
  • Geometry Wars™ 3: Dimensions Evolved
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier™
  • Ghostbusters
  • Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
  • Gin Rummy
  • Girl Fight
  • Go! Go! Break Steady
  • Goat Simulator
  • Golden Axe
  • Golf: Tee It Up!
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies™
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Greg Hastings Paintball 2 Trailer HD
  • Grid 2
  • GRID Autosport
  • Gripshift
  • GTA IV
  • Guardian Heroes (TM)
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Guwange
  • Gyromancer
  • Gyruss

 

H

  • HALF-MINUTE HERO -Super Mega Neo-
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3 ODST Campaign Edition
  • Halo 4
  • Halo Wars
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Halo: Reach
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Hard Corps: Uprising
  • Hardwood Backgammon
  • Hardwood Hearts
  • Hardwood Spades
  • Harms Way
  • Haunted House
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Hexic 2
  • Hexic HD
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Hitman: Blood Money
  • Hunter: The Reckoning
  • Hydro Thunder
  • Hydrophobia

I

  • I am Alive™
  • Ikaruga
  • ilomilo
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
  • Interpol
  • Iron Brigade

J

  • Jade Empire™
  • Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad
  • Jet Set Radio
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Jewel Quest
  • Joe Danger 2: The Movie
  • Joe Danger Special Edition
  • Joust
  • Joy Ride Turbo
  • JUJU
  • Just Cause
  • Just Cause 2

K

  • Kameo
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
  • Killer Is Dead
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
  • KOF SKY STAGE
  • KOF2002UM

L

  • Lara Croft: GoL
  • Lazy Raiders
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • LEGO Batman
  • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
  • LEGO Star Wars III
  • LEGO Star Wars: TCS
  • LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes
  • LEGO® Indiana Jones™
  • LEGO® Indiana Jones™ 2
  • LEGO® Star Wars® II: The Original Trilogy
  • LIGHTNING RETURNS FFXIII
  • Limbo
  • Lode Runner
  • LOST PLANET 2
  • LOST PLANET 3
  • LOST PLANET EXTREME CONDITION
  • LOST PLANET EXTREME CONDITION: COLONIES EDITION
  • LUMINES LIVE!
  • Luxor 2

M

  • Mad Tracks
  • Madballs Babo: Invasion
  • Mafia II
  • Magic 2012
  • Magic 2013
  • Magic 2014 — Duels of the Planeswalkers
  • Magic: The Gathering
  • Marathon: Durandal
  • Marlow Briggs
  • Mars: War Logs
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Matt Hazard: BBB
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • MEGA MAN 10
  • MEGA MAN 9
  • Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
  • METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE
  • METAL GEAR SOLID HD: 2 & 3
  • Metal Slug 3
  • Metal Slug XX
  • MGS PW HD
  • Midnight Club: Los Angeles
  • Midway Arcade Origins
  • Might & Magic Clash of Heroes
  • Military Madness
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Missile Command
  • Modern Warfare® 3
  • Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine
  • Monday Night Combat
  • Monkey Island 2: SE
  • Monkey Island: SE
  • MONOPOLY DEAL
  • MONOPOLY PLUS
  • MOON DIVER
  • Motocross Madness
  • Mr. DRILLER Online
  • Ms. Splosion Man
  • MS.PAC-MAN
  • Mutant Blobs Attack
  • Mutant Storm Empire
  • Mutant Storm Reloaded
  • MX Unleashed
  • MX vs. ATV Reflex

N

  • N+
  • NBA JAM: On Fire Edition
  • NEOGEO BATTLE COLISEUM
  • NEW RALLY-X
  • NiGHTS into dream…
  • NIN2-Jump
  • Ninja Gaiden Black
  • Ninja Gaiden 2

O

  • Oblivion
  • Of Orcs and Men
  • OF: Dragon Rising
  • Omega Five
  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River
  • Orcs Must Die!
  • Outland
  • Overlord
  • Overlord II

P

  • P4A
  • Pac-Man
  • Pac-Man C.E
  • PAC-MAN CE DX+
  • PAC-MAN MUSEUM
  • Panzer Dragoon Orta
  • Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory
  • Peggle
  • Peggle® 2
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds
  • Pinball FX
  • Planets Under Attack
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Port Royale 3 Pirates & Merchants
  • Portal 2
  • Portal: Still Alive
  • Prey
  • Prince of Persia
  • Prince of Persia
  • Pure
  • Putty Squad
  • Puzzle Quest
  • Puzzle Quest 2
  • Puzzle Quest Galactrix
  • Puzzlegeddon

 

Q

  • QIX ++
  • Quantum Conundrum

R

  • R-Type Dimensions
  • Radiant Silvergun
  • Rage
  • Rainbow Six® Vegas
  • Rainbow Six® Vegas 2
  • Raskulls
  • Rayman 3 HD
  • Rayman Raving Rabbids
  • Rayman® Legends
  • Rayman® Origins
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Red Faction: Armageddon
  • Red Faction: Battlegrounds
  • RESIDENT EVIL CODE: Veronica X HD
  • RoboBlitz
  • Rocket Knight®
  • Rockstar Table Tennis
  • Rumble Roses XX
  • Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

S

  • Sacred 3
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Saints Row
  • Saints Row IV
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell
  • Saints Row® The Third™
  • Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space
  • Sam & Max Save the World
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Scarygirl
  • Scrap Metal
  • Screamride
  • SEGA Bass Fishing
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
  • Sensible World of Soccer
  • Shadow Assault/Tenchu
  • Shadow Complex
  • Shadowrun
  • Shadows of the Damned
  • Shank™ 2
  • Shinobi
  • Shotest Shogi
  • Shred Nebula
  • Sid Meier’s Pirates!
  • Silent Hill Homecoming
  • Silent Hill: Downpour
  • Silent Hill: HD Collection
  • SINE MORA™
  • Skate 3
  • Skullgirls
  • Skydive
  • Slender: The Arrival
  • Small Arms
  • Sniper Elite V2
  • Soltrio Solitaire
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Sonic & Knuckles
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Sonic Adventure™ 2
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic Generations
  • Sonic the Fighters
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 3
  • Sonic The Hedgehog™ 4 Episode I
  • Sonic The Hedgehog™ 4 Episode II
  • SONIC UNLEASHED
  • SOULCALIBUR
  • SoulCalibur II HD
  • South Park™: The Stick of Truth™
  • Space Ark
  • Space Giraffe
  • Space Invaders: IG
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Spelunky
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • Split/Second
  • Splosion Man
  • SSX
  • SSX 3
  • Stacking
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • Star Wars Battlefront II
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  • Star Wars Jedi Starfighter
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Star Wars Republic Commando
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
  • Strania
  • STREET FIGHTER IV
  • Stuntman: Ignition
  • Super Contra
  • Super Meat Boy
  • SUPER STREETFIGHTER IV ARCADE EDITION
  • Supreme Commander 2
  • SVC: ToeJam & Earl
  • Syberia

T

  • TEKKEN 6
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Texas Hold’em
  • The Bureau
  • The Cave
  • The Darkness
  • The Darkness II
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • The King of Fighters 98
  • THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII
  • The Maw
  • The Orange Box
  • The Splatters™
  • The Walking Dead
  • The Walking Dead: Michonne – Episode 1
  • The Walking Dead: Season Two
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  • Ticket to Ride
  • TimeShift
  • Tom Clancy’s EndWar
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™
  • Tom Clancy’s HAWX
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell® Blacklist™
  • Tomb Raider Underworld
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary
  • Tomb Raider: Legend
  • Torchlight
  • Tour de France
  • Tour de France 2009
  • Tower Bloxx Deluxe
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers Cold War
  • Toy Story 3
  • Toybox Turbos
  • Trials HD
  • Triggerheart Exelica
  • Trine 2
  • Tron: Evolution
  • Tropico 4

U

  • Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon
  • Unbound Saga
  • Undertow

V

  • VANQUISH
  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
  • Virtual-On OT
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise

W

  • Winterbottom
  • Wolfenstein 3D
  • Word Puzzle
  • WOTB: Commando 3

X

  • XCOM®: Enemy Unknown
  • XCOM®: Enemy Within

Y

  • Yosumin! LIVE

Z

  • Zoe HD
  • Zuma
  • Zuma’s Revenge!

What games would you like to see added to Xbox One Backwards Compatibility? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.

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